The last recipe for crescent rolls I shared was years ago and I realized I haven’t made it very often since because it is SO stinkin’ complicated. It was based off a Cooks Illustrated recipe and while I adore them and all their recipes, some are just unnecessarily complicated. That other recipe, while amazing, literally took days to make. When I’m craving crescent rolls, I want them ASAP. That’s why I decided to play around with a new recipe that could be made in just 2 hours and is just as tender, buttery, and fluffy with a golden brown crusty exterior. I’m thrilled to report I came up with something delicious AND totally doable.
What other carby goodness would you like me to share in the future?
The crescent rolls are nothing short of amazing themselves, but feel free get creative with all the potential sweet and savory flavor options! You can make several flavor variations within just one recipe batch. You can omit the butter called for spreading on the dough round or not, it’s entirely up to you and what works best with your flavor choice!
Fill or sprinkle the unrolled crescents with:
Nutella, peanut butter, or cookie butter
Cream cheese and berries
Garlic and herb butter
Pepperoni and cheese
Jam and brie
Cream cheese, jalapeno, and bacon
Scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage or bacon
Bread Baking Tips
Watch the video above to see exactly how this crescent roll recipe is made along with all the best tricks. Here are two quick bread baking tips if making homemade bread with yeast scares you!
Most of my bread recipes call for instant yeast because I always have a big bag of the stuff in my fridge and because it’s so easy to use. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed to be activated, it can just be added in with the rest of the dough ingredients. It also gets to work more quickly, often lessening the rising times.
However, active dry yeast can pretty much always be substituted for instant yeast. All you need to do is take the warm liquid ingredients in the recipe (no hotter than 115°F otherwise you risk killing the yeast), combine with the yeast, and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to form a creamy foam on the surface of the liquid. If this doesn’t happen, it means the yeast is dead. You can add a little bit of sugar to the mixture to give the yeast something to get excited about. Now the yeast and liquid are ready to be added to the other ingredients in the recipe. This active dry yeast dough may take slightly longer to rise.
I almost always use my stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead dough because it’s just so easy. However, you can almost always knead by hand. Here’s a helpful video showing you how to knead by hand.
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Taste: Buttery, carby goodness.
Texture: Slightly crusty and golden on the outside, soft, fluffy, and tender inside. Perfection.
Ease: Easy, but requires a little patience and hands-on assembly. The dough is so easy to work with, though, that I find it relaxing! Would be a fun recipe to make with little ones.
Appearance: Gorgeous, these would look beautiful on any dinner table.
Pros: Absolutely doable (especially with my step-by-step video), fun, and scrumptious. Way easier than my last favorite crescent roll recipe.
Would I make this again? Oh yes. I made extra and froze them with the make-ahead directions included at the bottom of the recipe.
How to make Crescent Rolls
Yield: 16 rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup whole milk
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon fine salt
4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 egg white, beaten
In a small saucepan combine the water, milk, and half the butter (4 tablespoons). Set over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm, about 110°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the warm water mixture with the yeast, sugar, egg, salt, and flour. Turn the mixer to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, forming each into a smooth ball. On a clean work surface use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 16 to 17-inch round. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread 2 tablespoons of the remaining room temperature butter onto each dough round. Use a pastry cutter to cut each round into 16 triangles.
Roll the triangles into crescents, starting from the bigger outside edge. Bring the edges together to create the crescent shape with the tip tucked down under the roll. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about 20 minutes, or until puffy. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.
MAKE AHEAD: Partially baked rolls can be frozen for up to 1 month. To partially bake rolls follow directions, but let them bake at 400°F for only 4 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then place in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag in freezer. When ready to serve defrost at room temperature and bake at 400°F for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.
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